Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Dutch Treat: Who wants a kidney?

A few years ago, just as reality TV was hitting its stride, I predicted right here it wouldn't be long until Hollywood devolved into shows like "Nazi Eye for the Jew Guy." Well, I was wrong about that one -- but I wasn't far off in the Taste Category. And we appear to have infected the rest of the world with our plague.

In The Netherlands, a new reality show airing on Friday in which a dying woman chooses a contestant to receive one of her kidneys. The producers put their apparently limited creative energy into the concept, not the title: The Big Donor Show.

Those crazy Dutchmen. The donor as "Lisa," a 37-year-old woman with an inoperable brain tumor. She'll listen to interviews with the three seriously ill candidates, their relatives and friends before choosing who'll get her kidney.

On one side are the advocates for organ donation who think the show will focus attention on the need for donors in The Netherlands. On the other are people who are offended by the apparent bottomless chasm in television producers' taste and ethics.

Well, hell, as long as advertisers are paying for the air, let's not let TV people get rich! Let's come up with our own reality-TV concepts and grab a little of this shameless money for ourselves!

Let's start with "Death Row Deal!" in which contestants vie for the chance to flip the switch on the electric chair! Then right after the shocking conclusion of that show, we can tune in to "Wife Swap: Hutus vs Tutsis," in which warring tribes send their women folk to another village for an, um, extreme makeover. Who wants to see "Russian Roulette: Child Stars from the '70s"? Then, just before the 10 o'clock news (which is actually made up), we'll watch "Cheaters ... The Shootout," in which cuckolded husbands are maneuvered into a confrontation with their wives' secret lovers ... and handed their choice of weapons.

Anybody out there have other ideas?

UPDATE 6/1/2007: Associated Press reports ... A television show in which a woman would donate a kidney to a contestants was revealed as a hoax Friday, with presenters saying they were trying to pressure the government into reforming organ donation laws. Shortly before the controversial program was to air, Patrick Lodiers of the "Big Donor Show" said the woman was not actually dying of a brain tumor as claimed and the entire exercise was intended to add pressure on the government and to raise public awareness of the need for organs. The three prospective recipients were real patients in need of transplants and had been in on the hoax, the show said.

1 comment:

Jill said...

I guess it is trash or treasure/ taste or no taste. Where is Howie Mandell when we need him?